A Kentucky EMT was killed by an onslaught of bullets from police during a botched drug raid last month.
Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were asleep in their bed on March 13 when officers from the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Criminal Interdiction division stormed into her home, according to local TV station WDRB. Walker fired at the officers, and three officers responded with a hail of bullets. Taylor died after she was hit eight times.
Walker was arrested and charged with attempted murder after Sgt. John Mattingly was hit in the leg during the shooting. No drugs were recovered, and attorney Rob Eggert said Walker is a victim of “police misconduct” who did not realize he was shooting at police officers because they did not identify themselves. The lawyer wrote to the court that Walker “wishes to exonerate himself. His girlfriend was killed in a hail of police bullets while naked and he himself simply acted to try to protect himself.”
“Had Breonna Taylor been killed by anyone except police, the person or persons responsible for her death would have been charged with a homicide,” Eggert added.
Mattingly, Detective Brett Hankison and Detective Myles Cosgrove, the officers who fired the shots, were placed on administrative reassignment.
Sam Aguiar, a lawyer for Taylor’s family, told WDRB the officers were looking for someone else who was apprehended during a separate raid.
“Something went terribly wrong,” he said. “This was clearly a botched execution of a warrant.”
Taylor and Walker’s families insisted the couple were not involved with drugs or any other illicit activity.
“She was already an accomplished and certified EMT for the City of Louisville and currently worked for UofL as a medical tech,” Bonica Austin, Taylor’s aunt, told local TV station WHAS11. “This is not a woman who would sacrifice her life and her family morals and values to sell drugs on the street.”
Eggert said Walker is a former athlete who graduated from Western Kentucky University and only had a DUI on his record.
Walker was released to home incarceration on March 27.
Despite witnesses’ accounts to the contrary, the LMPD stands by its officers’ claims that they knocked several times and announced their presence before they broke down the door. There is no body camera footage because the unit is not required to wear them.
An internal investigation is pending. Atlanta Black Star reached out to LMPD for comment and is awaiting response.